The Trials and Tribulations of Writing Twincest, by William Cooper
Writing a twincest story can be a hard thing to accomplish. Hehehe. Okay, so maybe it’s not that hard, but it’s different than writing a regular romance. Twincest and incest in general is one of society’s most profound taboos. Not only does it go against most people’s morals, but it is downright illegal in a lot of places.
So when writing twincest, I have to create characters and a situation where my readers can really connect with them. To overcome the incest taboo, readers need to be able to bond with the characters, they need to empathize with them. For some readers, nothing will make them look past the fact that they’re related. For others, the fact that they’re brothers can add even more depth to their love.
One thing that I have to be careful with is to keep the characters on even footing. I don’t want this to be an abusive relationship. I don’t want one brother taking advantage of the other. This is one of the reasons most of my stories are about twins rather than regular brothers. With twins, they’re the same age and are in the same points in their lives. There isn’t the feeling of the elder brother using his influence to get sex from his younger brother. I don’t want my readers to pick up the book and feel like the younger brother is only going through with it to please his elder brother.
When a reader picks up my book, they should feel a sense of mutual love and respect. Both characters want this, both characters need this. This isn’t a story about one person forcing themselves on another. This is a story about two people who are madly in love and are brothers.
When I do write a story with regular brothers, I tend to lean toward the younger brother instigating things and the older brother being a bit reluctant. I feel like one, it makes it more realistic since the older brother would want to protect his younger brother, and two, it avoids the feeling of one brother taking advantage of the other. I emphasize that they’re both adults and capable of making their own decisions.
When writing twincest you’ve basically hit the backstory goldmine. You don’t have the issue of “instalove” that’s prevalent in a lot of books. You don’t have to spend chapters on your characters getting to know each other. When the characters are twins or even just brothers, they’ve been together their entire lives. They know each other, inside and out. They know what they have in common and what they don’t have in common.
This means I can start the story right in the middle of the action. I don’t have to figure out where they meet. I know where the met. I can start the story right at the spark that brings them together, the point where they finally acknowledge their feelings for each other. And the ride can really begin.
So writing twincest or brocest isn’t too difficult, but publishing it can be pretty challenging. Most self-publishing outlets have an outright ban on incest books. Amazon is one of the biggest sources of income for most authors, traditionally published and self-published, and they’ve got strict guidelines against books with incest and psuedo-incest that prohibit authors from publishing those stories there.
There are also very few publishers that will accept incest books. Most of the major houses in the M/M genre have “no incest” policies in their submission guidelines. Some of the ones that do accept incest stories have questionable business practices. You have to dig through to find a good, strong house that will accept it (like Stiff Rain). So while there are a few good houses that take it, instead of having a list of twenty publishers you can submit to, you’re down to around three.
Publishing twincest or brocest isn’t totally impossible, it just takes a bit more time and effort to find a good home for your book. But once to do find that home, it all pays off in the end. Big time.